McDonald’s Opens Vegetarian Restaurant In India
McDonald’s has found an interesting way to break into the second most populous nation on Earth, a nation which also happens to have large numbers of people who don’t eat meat, and certainly don’t eat beef:
The standard-bearer of the hamburger, McDonald’s, is bowing to local demand and is opening a meat-free restaurant in India.
The global chain, whose best-known product is the Big Mac burger in a bun, says it will be its first vegetarian outlet.
McDonald’s, the world’s second biggest food outlet after Subway, increasingly adapts its range to local demand.
Both India’s Hindu majority and Muslims can eat the same meat-free dishes.
Religiously observant Hindus see cows as sacred and avoid beef, while Muslims view pigs as unclean and avoid pork.
According to the AFP news agency, McDonald’s will open the outlet in the middle of next year, near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northern India.
Religious authorities forbid consumption of meat at the shrine.
A spokesman for McDonald’s in northern India, Rajesh Kumar Maini, told the news agency: “There is a big opportunity for vegetarian restaurants as many Indians are vegetarian.
This isn’t entirely new, as McDonald’s often varies its menus in international locations based on local tastes, including vegimite in Australia, seafood in several Asian nations, and lamb in several Arab nations. The small number of locations in India already have a varied menu that, when it comes to meat, seems to stick strictly with chicken. From a business point of view, it makes complete sense.
Matthew Yglesias, though, draws particular attention to the new Indian venture:
But as well as being a way to try to penetrate the India market, if it takes off at all I imagine it’ll provide a valuable testing ground for the general concept. There are over 15 million vegetarians in the United States, for example, which is bigger than the population of Belgium, Greece, or Pennsylvania. A vegetarian fast food concept that works could have legs in many places around the world.
Frankly, I’m not so sure vegetarian fast food is going to be that big of a market in the U.S., but if tastes change we might just see it one day.